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Elizabeth Scott

Interview with Caridad Ferrer

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Today, I'm doing a Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit interview with Caridad Ferrer about her new book, When The Stars Go Blue





Me: Tell us about your book in ten words or less!

Caridad: Dance, music, love triangles and intensity, passion, & betrayal.


Me: What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?

Caridad: Cliché as it sounds, it was to keep writing. No matter what, keep writing. It's the only way to learn and improve craft and maybe most importantly, learn yourself as a writer.


Me: What do you wish you'd known about being published/publishing before your book/first book came out?

Caridad: That it's not always about writing a good book. It has as much to do with forces outside an author's control. That's just such a hard lesson to learn though-- I'm constantly reminding myself of it, more than four years after first being published.


Me: What's the last book you read that you loved so much you had to tell everyone about it?

Caridad: I've been mentioning her so much on blogs people are going to think I'm her pimp, but I have to say C.S. Harris' Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series. They're absolutely magnificent and I love them to the point where I've been buying them and giving them as gifts. (Me: They are amazing! But please note they aren't YA, just as a heads up)


Me and my Being Nosy Random Bonus Question: What's your favorite salad dressing?

Caridad: Blue cheese :)

oh, you know what to expect!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Congrats to Pam, last week's contest winner--and now on to the links:

Over at Chasing Ray, there's been loads of great entries like this one about the less-often mentioned business end of writing things, like what happens if one or both of the chains don't carry you, how/why libraries purchase books, etc.

And more, again from Chasing Ray---is it better to be a lucky writer, or a stubborn one?, is dealing with publishing harder than writing?, and finally, what if your book, when it's published, doesn't sell?

Be sure to check out the comments on all the blog posts above--lots of fascinating discussion, as well as some very candid information offered up by YA authors.

I'm surprised it took PW this long to write an article about this: romance authors writing YA (and okay, is it just me, or is everyone writing YA these days?)

Over at Writer Unboxed, the month of December is going to be devoted to answering reader questions about writing, agents, publishing--in short, everything! I think Writer Unboxed has some of the best and most insightful posts about the industry around, so if you have a question, now is definitely the time to strike

Very interesting post about Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (or at least, Ang Lee's movie versions of it) over at Murderati

Allison Brennan on e-books, print books and readers--"I honestly don’t care how readers read my books. If they enjoy them electronically or in print or listening to them on tape or download. Truly, my job is to entertain by telling a good story."

mailing list update and...wait for it! (okay, yes, it's links!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mailing list members--the latest message went out yesterday morning, and since I've moved over to a pay service, it looks like everything went well. BUT! If you are on the list and didn't get the message, contact me and let me know.

Links:

Surprises that come with writing full-time

The importance of getting distance from your writing

On writers and deadlines

The always awesome Tess Gerristen on Things I've Been Wrong About

Pimp My Novel on procrastination

More on the ick link from the other day--an explanation of why ick's model of book packaging is truly--well...icky.

interview with Denise Jaden--win a copy of her book AND an ARC of The Mockingbirds

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today, I'm chatting with Denise Jaden about her book, Losing Faith




Me: Tell us about your book in ten words or less!

Denise: A sister's death and a terrible secret.


Me: What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?

Denise: My favorite advice comes from one Sydney Salter, who once told
me never to compare myself, my writing, or my publishing journey with
others. I wholeheartedly agree! Comparing can make you crazy!


Me: What do you wish you'd known about being published/publishing before
your book/first book came out?

Denise: How most things don't happen when they are "supposed" to. Revision letters may not be in or books aren't in stores or reviews are delayed. I thought I'd gotten pretty skilled at the waiting game during the query process but I guess not good enough!


Me: What's the last book you read that you loved so much you had to tell
everyone about it?

Denise: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson. So beautiful and heart-wrenching and poetic.


Me: So, I hear you have something to give away...

Denise: I do! I have one copy of Saving Faith to give away (US addys only, please)


Me: Random Bonus Question: What's your favorite salad dressing?

Denise: A local restaurant makes and bottles their own Greek dressing and it is
definitely my favorite. It's called Rendezvous Dressing.


So, Denise is giving away a copy of Saving Faith (thank you, Denise!) and one of the winners of the ARC of The Mockingbirds never claimed it, so that's up for grabs as well!

To win both of these books, all you need is a US addy and to leave a comment telling me what your favorite part of Thanksgiving is by midnight EST this Friday, November 19th--and, as always, don't forget to leave a way for me to contact you!

monday brings links!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Congrats to Darci, who won last week's contest--and thanks again to Pam for a great guest blog!

Moving on:

Fab post over at Genreality about trusting your readers

The popularity of book series--with tips on how to keep the character(s) in one interesting

45,000 kids and teens are doing NaNoWriMo--how awesome is that?

On a more depressing note--one out of every twenty kids has never (NEVER) read a book

And from the ick, ick, ICK! section--I don't even have words for how creeped out this article made me.

mailing list update (getting ready for the holidays!) and links

Friday, November 12, 2010

The mailing list has gotten so big that I've moved it to a pay-based vendor so messages--like the holiday one I'm sending out next week!--will get through. Want to join? Go here.

Great article about prejudging what you think an editor's tastes are--I never would have predicted my editor at Simon Pulse would have wanted LDG, but she did, and has been behind the book since she first read it, never ever once doubting what I'd written. I adore her for that. And for so many other things!

The New York Times is going to start an e-book bestseller list (From the Times itself: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/books/11list.html?_r=1&src=twt&twt=nytimesbooks)

There's been a lot of back and forth about NaNoWriMo in the blogosphere--trust John Scalzi to come up with the best post I've seen on the subject-- "So if you’re a pro novelist or whomever wringing your hands over NaNoWriMo, remember that hands are for typing, not for wringing, and get back to your own work and let the kids have their fun. If you’re a NaNoWriMo participant and you’ve heard the grousing of the pros, ignore it and enjoy your experience of banging out words. In the end, no one cares how or why or under what circumstances a novel has been created, they care about the words on the page. Readers don’t read process. They read novels."

Great article on how writing doesn't get easier with every book (so true! At least for me..)

Writers talk about their worst jobs ever--Those of you who've read my bio know I've had some strange ones, but I only had one I hated--the 3 day stint in the dot.com industry. Where I burned CDs ALL DAY LONG. I have never, ever been so bored in my life.

The importance of taking time to stop and look around you

Agent Rachelle Gardner has some reminders for those with agents and also has a really nice (albeit short) breakdown of what is typically found in publishing contracts

Catherine Ryan Hyde on writing full-time--and money (Love the Elmore Leonard quote in there!)

Think paranormal fiction originated with Twilight? Silver Kiss, maybe? Anne Rice, for sure, right? NOPE. Go back further. Forty years further....

Dorchester author--and NYT Bestseller--Angie Fox, dealt with Dorchester's ongoing problems by getting the rights back to her next book--and is publishing it herself.

Interesting article on how Harlan Coben became a bestselling author

Want to win a signed copy of Grace and any other one of my books (your pick!) PLUS help out Pennsylvania's libraries? (And okay, you know me, I'll be throwing a few other things in as well...) Interested? Well then, check this out: http://payaauctions.blogspot.com/2010/11/grace-winners-choice-by-elizabeth-scott.html

And finally, Chocolate Peanut Butter Moon Pies and Chocolate Truffle Tarts-- what, you think I'd skip dessert?

Guest Blog: A Look at the Landscape of LGBTQ YA

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Today's blog entry is by Pam Harris, a middle school counselor by day and an aspiring YA author at night, as well as a student in Fairleigh Dickinson University’s MFA program for creative writing. She also runs a blog with her YA loving cousin and they can be found at: http://seepamwrite.blogspot.com

--

When I registered for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conference in Los Angeles last summer, the panel that I couldn’t wait to attend was the one focused on YA and the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Questioning) community.

At work, I frequently meet with students who are either teased or confused about their sexual identity. Every adolescent wants to feel like they belong and, being the book lover that I am, I think they should be able to pick up a novel and identify with a character that’s going through similar obstacles.

The SCBWI panel featured several prominent members in the publishing industry: Arthur Levine (editor, Scholastic), Tony Valenzuela (director of LAMBDA Literary), and Nick Eliopulos (editor, Scholastic). Here are just a few highlights of what was shared during this session:

-- Arthur Levine mentioned that less that 10% of submissions that cross his desk have gay characters, and an even smaller percentage feature gay protagonists.

-- Nick Eliopulos also admitted that he was not receiving many LGBTQ submissions and does not feel there is enough out there on the bookshelves.

-- Tony Valenzuela reminded everyone that there will still be obstacles because homophobia still exists. The panel suggests finding the right agent that will support your ideas and network at events where you can meet “gay-friendly” agents and editors.

There’s an obvious need for more of these books in the marketplace, so I encourage writers to take a leap and give it a try. In fact, a few of my favorite writers have already done so:

-- In Amy Reed’s Beautiful, the protagonist develops an innocent, loving relationship with one of her female friends.

-- Ellen Hopkins’ Tricks features a gay male protagonist, a female protagonist who has her first real relationship with another girl, and another male protagonist who becomes a gay escort to make money.

-- Davida Willis Hurwin’s Freaks and Revelations tells the story of a male prostitute and his eventual basher.

What I’m the most proud of about the YA community is how supportive we are of each other, and I think this is an issue that’s worth rallying for. About 10% of the population is gay, and I think it would be wonderful if our bookshelves can start reflecting this, as *all* teens need to be heard!

--

Pam has also asked that I give away a copy of Freaks and Revelations, and I'm more than happy to do so! (What a surprise, right??)

For your chance to win, you'll need to have a US addy, and leave a comment with *your* favorite book that has a LGBTQ plot/character in it.

I'll take comments through midnight EST this Friday, November 12th, and then one person will win a copy of Freaks and Revelations.

(P.S. Don't forget to leave a way for me to contact you so I can if you win!!)

wait, what time is it again?

Monday, November 08, 2010

I forgot about daylight savings time or whatever the heck it's called (as did my husband) and so we both woke up on Sunday, went to grab breakfast at one of our fave places--only to find we were there at 10, not 11, and so it wasn't open. (Luckily, we always carry a book with us)

I don't mind it being light earlier in the day, but I really REALLY hate how it's now going to start getting dark at 4 PM. Blurgh.

Anyway! Enough about that--let's hit the links!

But first, congrats to Sammy and Kristen, who each won an ARC of The Mockingbirds

Ok, now for the links:

From Genreality--overcoming writing fear

Which would you rather have--great reviews and loads of awards...or out-of-this world sales? A fab question posed by agent Rachelle Gardner

This account of plagiarism made my draw drop--yes, it's THAT bad. For a shorter (and very funny) take on the magazine editor who did this, check out this link from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

I think the title of this says it best: Getting Published is Not a Crap Shoot

Debunking myths about "the writing life"

Talk about comfort food--perfect yellow cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting...mmmmm

whoa

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Wow, you all really, REALLY want those ARCs of The Mockingbirds, don't you? I'm impressed (plus, there's some great songs you've picked!)

If you haven't entered the contest to win one of the ARCs, you can do so here--you've got until tomorrow, the 5th, at midnight EST to do so!

And I wouldn't be me if I didn't come bearing links...

Pimp My Novel on self-publishing--for someone who works in the publishing industry, I think he gives a pretty balanced view. For writers of adult fiction, this one is a must read. (YA readers--at least mine, anyway--aren't buying many ebooks yet, probably because why would you pay even $100 for a reader (there's not one that cheap--yet) and then buy the books when you can just buy the books?)

And also from Pimp My Novel, a pretty grim view of publishing's future--No more bookstores? Really? Am I the only person who thinks this is just beyond sad and that, as Betsy Lerner once said, maybe we should stop thinking about what device people are going to read on/with and focus on getting them to actually READ?

Maggie Stiefavter has some thoughts on NaNoWriMo (lots of comments on that!) and she also has a follow-up post --make sure to read both!

Donald Maass on lettuce, loving paying taxes (!!)--and putting insight into every scene

Lynn Viehl has some NaNoWriMo advice

So Jane Austen wasn't a perfect writer after all?!

Juliet Marillier on trying something new with your writing--"Don’t forget, there is no such thing as the ‘correct way’ to write a book."

Interview with Daisy Whitney (and two ARCs of her new book are up for grabs!)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Today, I'm doing a Girlfriends' Cyber Circuit interview with Daisy Whitney about her new book, The Mockingbirds





Me: Tell us about your book in ten words or less!

Daisy: Underground, student-run justice system tries date rape case.


Me: What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?

Daisy: Write every day!


Me: What do you wish you'd known about being published/publishing before your book/first book came out?

Daisy: I wish I had know how awesome it is! I would have started writing sooner!


Me: What's the last book you read that you loved so much you had to tell everyone about it?

Daisy: The upcoming ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Steph Perkins. So freaking good!


Me: What blogs do you *have* to read?

Daisy: I read blogs through twitter. (You can find Daisy on twitter here)


Me: Random Bonus Question--what's your favorite salad dressing?

Daisy: Green Goddess!

Thanks for stopping by, Daisy, and to celebrate the release of The Mockingbirds (you can check out Daisy's facebook page for the book here), I'm giving away *two* ARCs (and yes, this contest is open internationally!)

For your chance to win one of the two ARCs, all you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what your current favorite song is by midnight EST this Friday, November 5th--and be sure to leave a way for me to contact you so I can if you win!

yes, there are THAT many links (also, don't forget to vote today!!)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Before I get to my truly enormous list of links--I've been saving them up until I was well enough to type 'em all up! (I finally got an all-clear from the doctor--YAY!!)--congrats go out to Natalie, who won the big box of books in the comfort reads contest. (And a huge Thank YOU to those of you who mentioned my books--I confess, that did cheer me up quite a bit!)

And now, the links. Ready? Here we go...

Just totally adorable and fun--the phases of rejection

Agent and author Nathan Bransford on NOT thinking about all the other writers out there, and on the problem of thinking another writer has "made it"

A google search for book mentions--or (eeek!) reviews

Pimp My Novel on automatic writing, rumors about publishing (and being published), and a four part series of tips on writing, rewriting/revision, networking, and dealing with rejection

Pimp My Novel also has a nice primer up about e-books--they've been around for a long time (seriously, go see!)

From Writer Unboxed, a fabulous and inspiring post about becoming/being a writer, a hilarious (and so true!) about the challenges that come with being published, dealing with backstory, having a strange attractor in your writing (aka high concept), a theory about types of writers (I wonder which one I am?), and my fave, Taming the Beast, which is all about dealing with an unruly story, and which I think every writer can relate to

Over at Genreality, there's five tips for writers, a nice post about dramatic tension, one on the ever-looming specter of the next project, the power of trusting your gut (SO true!), and on daily word counts (I really enjoyed this one as well)

At Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, two kind of depressing blog posts: one on changes in the publishing lunch (the one lunch with the publishing exec who predicts the end of bookstores AND pubishing--eek!) and one on taking on a client--and then not being able to sell their book

Agent Jennifer Laughran on the importance of actually finishing your novel before you start to query --"Here's a quick quiz for Fiction writers (non-fiction is a bit different):

Would any given random editor or agent recognize your name and know the title of at least one of your books without being told, and smile when they thought about it?

Have you written and published any books that have had wide acclaim and great sales and/or won major awards?

ARE YOU FAMOUS?

IF the answer to any of these questions is Yes, then by all means submit a partial."


Jennifer also has posted an amazing genre breakdown that's a must read

Agent Kristin Nelson on a big change in how agents can submit children's and YA books to publishers

Murderati has some NaNoWriMo advice as well as a slam-dunk of a blog entry about one writer's experiment with different writing styles/tools (and the graphic at the top? AWESOME!)

Barnes and Noble has subdivided their teen section into multiple groups

The Wall Street Journal has a really interesting article on Stephen King and his thoughts on where publishing is headed (and check out how much money he made from sales of the Kindle-only story "Ur"!! Though, to be fair, he is, after all, Stephen King)

Is it easier to find a publisher or get an agent?


Agent Rachelle Gardner on the importance of taking time for yourself--and taking care of yourself -- so many writers I know work SO hard, and I think it's really easy to forget that yes, it is okay to not work all the time.

Dear Author has a great--and reader-centric!!--post up about authors' voices/writing style, and what makes them compelling

On to the sweets!

This one is for my husband--Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Filling (yes, I'll try to make them this week!)

And you know how last year it turned out the candy corn was THE most hated of all Halloween candy? Well, if you got stuck with a bunch of it, here's a great way to use it--melt it up and make Caramel Corn Cupcakes

And I know I said this in the subject line, but please, don't forget to vote today!!